Interactive video training of perceptual decision making in the sport of baseball
Peter Jae Fadde, Purdue University, United States
Purdue University . Awarded
Sport science research using an expert-novice approach has identified perceptual decision making as an essential characteristic of expert performance in many fast ball sports. The sports skills studied include hitting in baseball, softball, and cricket, return of serve in tennis, blocking in volleyball, and goal keeping in hockey and soccer. These actions require the athlete to make complex decisions and initiate a psychomotor response in time frames that challenge simple human reaction time.
This study drew on both the findings and the techniques of sports research to develop and implement an interactive video training program intended to enhance the pitch recognition skill of baseball players (IAV-BB). The IAV-BB training program involved players viewing point-of-view video of college level pitchers and identifying the type and location of pitches. IAV-BB featured a drill and practice instructional method that used repetition, feedback, and progressive difficulty.
Players on an intact college baseball team were divided into treatment and control subjects and the training was implemented during the team's pre-season practice sessions. The effects of pitch recognition training were measured using batting statistics from a posttest period of eighteen pre-conference games. Each player was ranked within the group of twelve treatment and control players on the statistics of batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and a composite score (BA/OB/SLG) that averaged their rank on the other three measures. Based on the Mann-Whitney U test, the players who underwent pitch recognition training ranked significantly higher than players in the control group on batting average and on the BA/OB/SLG batting performance score.
The constraints put on research design by a small n, real world research context limit the scope of the findings. However, within the exploratory goals of this project it appears that a perceptual decision-making sports skill such as pitch recognition can be targeted for training using interactive video and that such training can affect competitive performance. Mediated training of perceptual decision-making skills gives athletes the opportunity to systematically practice cognitive skills that are generally assumed to come only from instinct or long experience.
Fadde, P.J. Interactive video training of perceptual decision making in the sport of baseball. Ph.D. thesis, Purdue University. Retrieved February 23, 2019 from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/119612/.
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